· Pope Francis remembers the 50th anniversary of the death of John XXIII with faithful of Bergamo ·
Tradition and revision remain a beacon for the future of the Church
“Obedience and peace”. According to Pope Francis this was the teaching that Blessed John XXIII handed down to “each one of us” and to the “Church of our time”. Fifty years after his death, on Monday afternoon, 3 June, the Holy Father remembered his Predecessor along with 3,000 pilgrims from Bergamo, who gathered in the Vatican Basilica to pray at the tomb of the Pope who was their fellow citizen.
After a greeting from Bishop Beschi, who previously had celebrated Mass at the Altar of the Confessio, the Pope described Roncalli as a man and a priest in the light of his episcopal motto, Oboedientia et pax . The Pope said in particular that peace was “the most obvious aspect, the one that people perceived in Pope John: a peace which, with his election as Pontiff, was manifested to the whole world and was described as 'goodness'”, and that “it is so beautiful... to find a good priest”.
While “peacefulness was his external feature”, Roncalli's inner disposition “consisted of obedience. Obedience, in fact, was his means for attaining peace”, because through this obedience Pope John lived a deeper loyalty.
Hence the relevance of his message. “We will spread peace around us”, said Pope Francis, “if we let ourselves be led by the Holy Spirit...to make room for the Lord's love”.
Furthermore, “his love for the Church's Tradition and his awareness of the constant need for renewal, his prophetic intuition of the convocation of the Second Vatican Council and his offering of his life for its success, stand as milestones in the history of the Church in the 20th century, and as a bright beacon for the journey that lies ahead”.
The Pope then addressed the Bergamascan faithful who were present, telling them that they should be “rightly proud of the 'Good Pope'”, who was a “shining example of faith and virtue for entire generations of Christians”. The Pope urged them to preserve his spirit, to deepen the study of his life and of his writings and, above all, to imitate his holiness. “Do not be afraid of taking risks”, he concluded, “just as he was not afraid”.
St. Peter’s Square
Feb. 23, 2020
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